Seven Quick Takes: Find The Fun Friday Edition

Amidst all the drama going on the current political sphere, I want to share some hope for humanity and also fill your news feed with some fun things that will make your October a lot more fun.

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Since October is the month of the Rosary, I want to take advantage of this time to promote Heart of Mary Women Fellowship’s Bible study on the Rosary. Each of the Mysteries comes with a free study journal. I’m also sharing a wonderful image from The Catholic Rose. I encourage everyone that no matter what your feelings are or who you plan on voting for this election, pray the Rosary for peace in this world. God knows we all need it. We may not get the results we expect when we pray, but prayer can help change us in ways we never expected.

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I had no idea that Who Wants to be a Millionaire is still going on, but I’m so glad it is because ChurchPOP shared this awesome article about a priest who competed on the show and walked away with $250,000 that will be donated to a Catholic elementary school!

It reminds me of when I was watching Sister Alicia Torres compete on Chopped. Catholic religious need to compete on shows more often.

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As someone who loves music, I highly respect Bob Dylan for his contributions to the industry. It’s no surprise to me, then, that he won the Nobel Prize for literature.  Bishop Robert Barron is a huge Bob Dylan fan. He did a podcast about Bob Dylan in August. I can’t wait to hear what Bishop Barron will say about Dylan winning the Nobel Prize. Dylan’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” is my personal favorite.

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In the mood for a good murder mystery? Wanna get into the Halloween spirit? Fan of authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Bronte, HG Wells, and Emily Dickinson? Check out Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party, a  wonderful wacky murder mystery comedy that will keep you guessing! Warning: One episode includes a seance, but thankfully, there’s no overtly occult things going on here.

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If you want something more along the lines of high fantasy and/or if you’re a fan of Once Upon a Time or Grimm, check out the Rooster Teeth web series RWBY. The fourth season will premiere on October 22nd. If you haven’t watched the series yet, feel free to catch up on it here.

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Today is #NationalDessertDay according to Twitter. If you wanna treat yourself, check out this cool new brand of modern baking kits called Foodstirs, co-founded by Sarah Michelle Gellar (AKA Buffy) and Galit Laibow. It’s family friendly and they have awesome Halloween-themed treats that your kids are sure to love!

Photo courtesy of People Magazine and used for editorial purposes only.

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In case you or someone you know has food allergies like I do, Food Allergy Research and Education is launching the Teal Pumpkin Project. It promotes giving out non-food “treats” to trick-or-treaters who have food allergies. Ideas for fun non-candy treats include glow bracelets, stickers, Halloween-themed pencils or erasers, small toys. You can easily find stuff at a local dollar store or at a craft store.

As someone who has a ton of food allergies, I also recommend looking for candy or treats that are safe for any kid. It doesn’t hurt to ask the kid about his or her allergies as well. Bubblegum such as Dubble Bubble has always been safe for me as well as Charms Blow Pops and Dum-Dum lollipops. My favorite candy, however, is soft peppermint sticks.

Have a wonderful Halloween! Watch out for killer clowns and vampires!

7 Quick Takes: Pope Francis In Pictures

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Since I talked about Saint John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict yesterday, it’s only fair that I put Pope Francis in the limelight today.

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Aleteia shared this wonderful video from Pope Francis’s General Audience a few days ago. One can’t help but recall how Jesus went to visit the daughter of Jairus. I pray that this girl will receive great blessings and healing.

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Fellow Pope Francis fangirl Ana Plumlee shared me this article from the BBC about giving the priests from Missionaries of Mercy special license to forgive sins usually reserved to the Holy See. According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis said these priests will be “living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon.”

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From The Catholic Rose:

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Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto thine!

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From Verily Magazine:

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From Catholic News Service:

POPE PLANE CUBA MEXICO

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EWTN shared that on the plane to Cuba, Pope Francis offered a special blessing to Mother Angelica.

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And in keeping up with the usual social media #FlashbackFriday tradition, check out The Catholic Apologist’s hilarious reaction to Pope Francis’s election:

Seven Quick Takes on The March For Life

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In case you haven’t heard, a serious winter storm advisory has been put out throughout the DC Metropolitan area. In spite of that, the March For Life is still going to happen. I know that I haven’t lived in the Mid-Atlantic for over a decade, but I hope that everyone who’s in the Washington DC area stays safe! So for my Seven Quick Takes, I want to look into the March For Life and the Pro-Life movement in general.

 

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Many people are cautioning people to think before travelling to the DC area. Deacon Greg Kandra and Joe Grabowski give their two cents on why it’s better to be safe than frozen and sorry. Granted, I only marched at a Pro-Life rally once. And it was during a time when it was seriously hot in Houston. While I applaud those who are going, I don’t want anyone getting hurt or injured in the name of the unborn.

That being said, for those who are already in the DC area, my prayers are going out to you. 

I expect to see a lot of this going around:

Or this:

brace yourselves

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So for those who aren’t going to DC or a March for Life in general, what the heck can we at home do? Marge Fenelon and other Catholics are promoting #FastFriday. Taking on an old Catholic tradition, be willing to fast in some way in solidarity with the unborn and those marching for life this weekend. If you have dietary issues like me, figure out a way to fast if you seriously feel like you can’t go one day without meat. You can fast from snacking or from sweets. Other things you can fast from today include, but aren’t limited to: texting, social media, Pinterest, television, gossiping, pornography, smoking, talking about politics, etc. For more ideas on what to fast on, check out this post! (It’s also a great thing to read if you want to get a head start on figuring out your Lenten resolution. Remember, y’all, Lent’s coming early this year!)

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If you want to know what kind of prayers you can pray for today in particular, Divine Office has a list of prayer intentions for all the mysteries of the Rosary. Have a bit of reluctance when it comes to praying the Rosary? Read up on 10 Ways You Can Pray The Rosary from my archives! Other prayers you can offer is the Angelus, usually prayed at noon, or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, usually prayed at 3PM. I highly suggest praying throughout the day. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing.” This website lists off a lot of good short prayers, but remember, don’t rush through them. Pray with your heart as well as with your mind and lips.

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Being pro-life isn’t just a thing for old, Republican white men. LifeTeen has a funny guide on How to Be Bro-Life on Youtube targeted towards young men:

Fellow brothers in Christ, be more involved in the Pro-Life movement!

Same goes for teenagers and young adults: Check out the Prolife Youth website.

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Never overlook opportunities to evangelize. Check out this article from Aleteia which shows someone having a pro-life conversation with someone who is decisively pro-choice. The ending might surprise you.

Speaking of surprises, check out these videos from a pro-life feminist YouTube channel called Consistently Quirky. These ladies are not your typical pro-lifers–their crazy hair being the first indicator! There’s also an interview on Aleteia with the president of Feminists for Life.

So yes, there is such a thing as a pro-life feminist. We seriously need to redefine what feminism means. I hope being pro-life can be one step in changing that definition.

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Don’t forget to reach out to those who have suffered from the trauma of abortion. I’m not just talking about the abortion survivors like Claire Culwell. I’m talking about the women who had abortions and the families who suffered the aftermath of it. Lysa Terkurst recently opened up about her own abortion on her website. I also have a friend who has a blog dedicated to the siblings of aborted children called Surviving Sibling which I highly recommend you check out. Finally, if you or someone you know used to work in the abortion industry or is seriously considering leaving said industry, check out And Then There Were None. It’s a nonprofit founded by former abortion leader Abby Johnson.

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While I was gathering stories for this post, I saw that while #MarchForLife is trending, some pro-choice hashtags are also trending such as #Roe43 and #reclaimroe. If you’re not going to fast from social media today, make #whywemarch a trending hashtag. Post on Instagram and Facebook about why you’re pro-life. However, I would caution against using graphic abortion images. Read this article from Simca Fischer to find out why.

7 Quick Takes on Seven Saints for 2016

 

 

One tradition that Catholics have in the new year is that they pick a saint to be their patron for the year. Usually, it’s done using Jennifer Fulwiler’s Saint Generator. However, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to get to know more than one saint. So for today, I’m gonna do a Seven Quick Takes on seven saints that I want to get to know this year.

 

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The Saint Generator gave me Saint Zita. I first read about her in an A-Z book of saints from my local library. Saint Zita is the patron saint of homemakers, housekeepers, servants, domestic workers, etc. Basically, she’s the patron saint for the downstairs half of Downton Abbey. She was born in Lucca, Italy around the time that Saint Francis was beginning his ministry, so it’s no surprise that she dedicated her life to helping the poor, sick, and imprisoned. It’s not certain whether she was married, but she didn’t enter a religious order either, so she’s a great saint for single women who work on the grind. Plus, if you ever have to deal with flack from co-workers, Zita understands that struggle all to well, so ask for the patience that she had with her fellow servants.

Also, she’s one of the incorrupt saints. That’s something I consider majorly cool.

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Another saint that I want to get to know this year is Saint Teresa of Avila. She was the Teresa that inspired St. Therese of Lisieux and helped reform the Carmelite Order. I’m reading bits and pieces of her autobiography, The Way of Perfection, and The Interior Castle. I love how she describes the soul as a castle made out of a single diamond with many rooms inside. I feel like that’s how I see my own identity. I also love her prayer of “Let Nothing Disturb You” because it feels more like a meditation or a grounding mantra. Just thinking of it right now makes me feel at ease.

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Mutter Teresa, lachend, Dezember 1985

I’ve already written about Mother Teresa, so without repeating myself, I just want to say that out of all the saints I’ve been reading and admiring, Mother Teresa is the one that I want to emulate the most. I want to be able to go out into the world and show God’s compassion to everyone, regardless of whatever faith or social class they’re in. I want to have her compassion for the sick, the poor, the dying, as well as for those who are spiritually bankrupt. I hope I get to watch her canonization in September.

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Mary Magdalene continues to be an enigma for me, even with the headcanons that I have for her. But instead of trying to speculate over who she was, I’m gonna start by going with what I do know. She was a Jewish woman. She was a leader amongst the disciples, especially with the female faction. She had seven demons exorcised out of her. She was there for Jesus during his crucifixion, burial, and was the first to see Him in his resurrection.

Many saints looked to her as a model for constant penitence because of her reputation as a fallen woman. She can be seen in a feminist subtext as someone who stood out amongst the norm by being a female leader without any husband with her. But what I admire most about Mary Magdalene is her loyalty. To stay with a friend when everyone else has gone away, to watch them die…It takes a lot of courage and loyalty. It’s that kind of loyalty and faithfulness to Jesus that I want to emulate.

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Even though I learned a lot about the life of Saint John Paul II, I’ve only skimmed the surface when it comes to his writings. One book that I want to read this year is Theology of the Body. I found a copy at my local secondhand bookstore (best place to find almost anything really) and I have other books that give commentary on the Theology of the Body. Since it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be going to Poland for World Youth Day (unless I win the lottery), I want to get to know the wisdom of this particular saint.

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For the past week or so, I’ve been praying the 30-Day Saint Joseph Holy Cloak Novena. It’s a long one, but I’ve already experienced some great graces from praying this. And given how I credit Saint Joseph for helping me out during my Lenten retreat last year, I have faith that he will help me out with whatever I decide to do this coming spring. He’s also been a big help when it comes to my writing, which I consider to be both my work and my passion.

 

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I think everyone out there has a favorite Marian title. Our Lady of Perpetual Help has been with me ever since I was a kid, when I went to a school that bore her name. The school has closed down, but the church is still there and it hasn’t changed much since I last saw it. But I want to know more of the devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help beyond the image I’ve seen throughout my life. I learned that it has Czech origins, but nothing beyond that.

 

So those are my 7 Saints for 2016. Feel free to comment about which saints or devotions you feel like focusing on this year!

Seven Quick Takes on Marian Devotion: Advent Week 2, Day 5

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My friends and I are starting a novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots tomorrow. If you wanna join in, I’ll post the novena on this blog!

As many of you, Our Lady of Knots is Pope Francis’s favorite Marian devotion, so this is a perfect way for you to get a good start on this Year of Mercy. Offer this novena for anything that you’re struggling with, especially if you have an addiction or some unresolved issues that stem back from long ago.

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One thing I remember from my retreat was that my friend Julie kept saying “Bye Patricia!” It’s a play on the slang “Bye Felicia!” For those who don’t know, “Bye Felicia!” is the millenial way of saying “See ya, suckers! I’m not even bothering to be polite, cuz I gotta go!” My friend’s new catchphrase came from the fact that even though Hurricane Patricia was a Category 5 hurricane that passed through Mexico, there were no fatalities or any major issues that devastated the country. Julie attributes that to Our Lady of Guadalupe. So yeah. Bye Patricia! Mary’s got Mexico covered!

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Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship is offering online groups for Marian Consecration. One that’s coming up right now starts on December 31st and ends on the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (February 2, 2016). Marian Consecration is the perfect way to start off the new year! Click the link to check it out!

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So a couple days ago, I got notified that Fr. Michael Gaitley was going to be on EWTN Live. Fr. Michael Gaitley basically taught me everything I know about Marian Consecration as well as how a devotion to Divine Mercy impacted the life of St. John Paul II. Up until I watched the show, I have never seen Fr. Michael Gaitley’s face. I just heard his voice and read his words. I didn’t Google the guy so I had no idea what he looked like. Imagine my surprise when I finally see a picture of him from a Facebook page and took a good look at his adorable baby face.

NO PRIEST SHOULD LOOK THIS CUTE! I thought.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. I had my first priest crush. Even though Fr. Michael Gaitley had a beard when he was on EWTN Live, I still couldn’t get past the fact that he had such a baby face. How old was he when he went into seminary? 15?

Oh well. Holiness is always an attractive quality in a man and now I understand why that French girl who later became a nun had such a crush on him. And I learned once again that people who enter into religious life are full of suprises.

Check out the video here:

And check out all of Fr. Michael Gaitley’s works on Lighthouse Catholic Media.

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If you want to know why I have major issues with the song “Mary Did You Know,” check out Fr. Robert Mcteigue, SJ’s article on Aleteia.

Catholic Sistas shared this picture from Catholic Fortress. I consider it a good retaliation for the song as well.

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A Protestant friend of mine, however, still doesn’t understand the nuances behind the term “full of grace.” Thankfully, Dave Armstrong has something to say about that.

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I learned that yesterday was the feast of Our Lady of Loreto. I remember praying the Litany of Loreto as part of my Marian Consecration and that Mother Teresa was initially a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of Loreto before going on to begin the Missionaries of Charity. Feel free to pray the litany with me:

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ have mercy.
V. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us.
R. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. 
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us. 
Holy Mother of God, pray for us. 
Holy Virgin of Virgins, [etc.]
Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good Counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace,

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord. 
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord. 
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be freed from present sorrow, and rejoice in eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

The versicle and prayer after the litany may be varied by season. Thus, during Advent (from the fourth Sunday before Christmas to Christmas Eve):

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Let us pray. O God, who hast willed that by the message of an Angel, thy Word should receive flesh from the womb of the Virgin Mary: grant unto thy suppliants, that we who believe that she is truly the Mother of God, may be assisted by her intercession before Thee. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

From Christmas to Candlemass (the Feast of the Presentation), that is through February 1:

V. Thou gavest birth without loss of thy virginity.
R. Intercede for us, O holy Mother of God.

Let us pray. O God, Who by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary hast offered unto the human race the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech thee, that we may know the effects of her intercession, through whom we have deserved to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son. R. Amen.

From Candlemass to Easter (through Holy Week), AND from the day after Pentecost (or from Trinity Sunday, if Pentecost is celebrated with octave) to the beginning of Advent:

V. “Pray for us” and prayer “Grant unto thy servants,” as above:

During Eastertide (from Easter day through Pentecost, and throughout the octave of Pentecost if it is celebrated):

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord is truely risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, Who by the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, hast vouchsafed to make glad the whole world, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life, through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

 

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And for lulz, I’m gonna leave you with this meme I created:

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Don’t stop, Holy Pop! Jesus turn that mercy up!

Tonight shine the light, shine light of Christ!

Tik tok! Advent’s clock counting down to the day that He comes back

Oh-whoa-oh-oh! Oh-whoa-oh-oh!

 

Another picture from Andrea Marie Lopez, shared by The Catholic Memes on their Facebook page:

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There’s also this funny video from Brandon Vogt. Equally hilarious: